Three Years Since I Made The Leap!

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It has been three years to the day since I accepted my dharma, my true calling. I walked out on what I thought was a blessing, an opportunity that tons of women my age would give their right arm for.

Some of you know about my years slinging product for a major sports company. One of the best in the world, actually. A slogan that people know in all corners of the globe. And for some reason, that dream job just didn’t do it for me. I appreciated the allure of the brand, the benefits, the consistent paycheck. Those are the things that kept me hanging on, always trying to peer around the corner to that next promotion, that next thing that would make me happier. I was always looking to that next thing, and it never showed up. There was a stirring in my soul letting me know I wasn’t in a place where I was best utilizing my talents.

But I had a little secret on the side. Pilates. And Yoga. Not only was I practicing on my own to keep my sanity, but I had gone through teacher training on the evenings and weekends. I spent most of my down time for a year studying an intense Pilates program. My thought was that I could teach on the weekend for fun, and then one day, 10, 15 or even 25 years down the road, if I was lucky, I would just teach. The training would be a good thing to have under my belt should I have kids and want to work just part time. I never expected it would be any sooner than that time frame and definitely didn’t think I could do it as a single woman. After I took an extremely challenging test, I became fully certified and began moonlighting as a Pilates Instructor. This was my passion, and I pursued it in my downtime, slowly working and growing my side hustle. My corporate job was still the main focus, but my heart had long escaped from that cubicle.

All this time I traveled. I traveled the world on my paid vacations, taking 10-day or two-week trips to all the places I wanted to go. Sometimes I could convince a girlfriend to go with me, sometimes I went alone. And it was on these trips that I had space away from my cluttered inbox and angry bosses that I could really envision my purpose. Getting away does wonders for bringing clarity and courage. Here is a photo of me in Thailand, on a tiny remote little beach. It was here, laying on my back in the water, that I had an awakening about what had been happening.

The universe (God) had been sending me all these little messages about my dharma, my life purpose, and I had been refusing to listen based on fear. It was here that I knew that I would need to quit my life-draining gig and move onto something where I could better serve. And it turns out my side-gig was serving plenty of people, helping them post-rehab from injuries, getting out of pain due to bad postural habits, and inspiring them to get fit through Pilate’s incredible system of movement.

I began to pray consistently for more signs and affirmations that this was my purpose. That I was supposed to leave this very sought after company, leave my stability, 401K, stock options and also the intense grind. But they didn’t come. It was just this extreme nagging at my soul that said, “yes”. You know the feeling. Some people call it intuition. I call it God. I can’t explain it any other way. It was a nagging that I realized had been there for months, maybe even years, and I finally let myself listen to it. And finally--on July 13th, 2015-- I quit.

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I am no different than you. I had no guarantees. I simply followed that stirring in my soul. I listened. I lept into an empty swimming pool and it turns out that by the time I reached the bottom, God had filled it with water, giving me a launching pad to my dharma, my life.

Since I took this leap, I have gone from teaching 5 sessions per week to 32 and now back down to 20-24 with room for special workshops. I have led all sorts of fun classes and began teaching retreats. Shortly after I quit that job, I met my future husband. I have continued to travel far and wide, and it is on those travels that I have my most creative moments that inspire my new career. It is something about that space that travel or retreat gives us that brings out the best in us.

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If you feel a stirring in your soul, I encourage you to listen. I did, after some time. It wasn’t immediate. I had some profound moments of clarity while away on a yoga retreat in Nicaragua eight months prior to leaving that probably set the waters in motion for this change. I knew for sure after that retreat that I should probably make some moves to get out of there and start doing what I love. Who knows what would have happened if I had listened sooner. There is something about the space of getting away that allowed me to go deep and get to know myself and what I was made for. I learned that there is not going to be an affirmation or confirmation that this is going to work: you must have faith that the universe will support you and hold you.

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If you feel a stirring in your soul, I encourage you to listen. I did, after some time. It wasn’t immediate. I had some profound moments of clarity while away on a yoga retreat in Nicaragua eight months prior to leaving that probably set the waters in motion for this change. I knew for sure after that retreat that I should probably make some moves to get out of there and start doing what I love. Who knows what would have happened if I had listened sooner. There is something about the space of getting away that allowed me to go deep and get to know myself and what I was made for. I learned that there is not going to be an affirmation or confirmation that this is going to work: you must have faith that the universe will support you and hold you.

So, cheers to three years of living my true calling. Thanks to your support, I have built my business to a comfortable, fulfilling and balanced level. Today, I have no doubt that I was always meant to get to this place at this time. Yes it was scary to leave that job. But it wasn’t the one for me. This one is. I am a Pilates and Yoga Instructor. I lead weekly classes and private session for people post-injury, in pain or with postural issues. I lead fun events like Wedding Day Pilates & Yoga and Backyard Yoga for girls nights or just because. I teach retreats both domestically and internationally. I travel to other countries to lead workshops. I even teach at the corporate gym of that company that I left! Full circle it is. I am forever grateful to all that have crossed my path.

May you be inspired by that voice in your head. The one you want to ignore. Let go the fear and listen. You will be provided for!

In gratitude,

Mandee Louie

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